Sunday, November 07, 2010

Research Trip : Court records of Jay County, Indiana

I was able to spend Friday doing some research on my paternal family lines.  Took the day off from work and headed out early for the Jay County, Indiana courthouse in Portland - about an hour away.  Friday was my birthday, and recently I've made it a tradition to spend it doing on-site genealogy research.


My goal was to examine the criminal and civil court records in the time period of the 1920s-1930s to see if there were any mentions of my ancestors, the LeMaster line in particular.  I'm still trying to piece together as much information as possible about my grandfather, Ord Wehrly LeMaster, and his brothers and sisters.


Arriving at the Clerk's office, I was directed to the spot where the "big books" were that contain civil and criminal records from the Jay County Circuit Court.  These are the types of records that are not computer indexed, let alone microfilmed.  If you've never spent time searching court records in person for your ancestors, you could be missing a wealth of information.  


Often when I get to a record repository, such as a courthouse, I get so excited making discoveries that I lose track of my end goal and try to 'shotgun' my approach to genealogy.  On this trip I was determined to stay focused on these family lines: LeMaster(s), Haley, Metzner, Chew and Wehrly.


Searching in the General Index to Civil Papers, Jay County Circuit Court Book 1, which covered the time period of the late 1870s through 1890s, I found the following records of interest: (Plaintiff, Defendant, Type, Date, Box #)


Metzner, Wm. F., Exparte, Ditch, November 12, 1886, Box 264, Record No. 5230


Haley, George, Richard A. Green, Foreclosure, October 1, 1872, Box 184, Record No. 184


Haley, Samuel et al, Lewis Oswalt et al, Partition, September 6, 1875, Box 195, Record No. 1298


Wehrly, William P., Elisha C. Shepherd et al, Foreclosure, September 9, 1890, Box 290, Record No. 6634


Searches for the Lemasters and Chew were negative in this book of records.


The records were indexed by plaintiff only, but in scanning the defendant's side I did come across a few records of my ancestors that jumped out at me wanting to be discovered:


Citizens Bank, John P. Wehrly et al, Note, March 19, 1884, Box 240, Record No. 4091


Citizens Bank, John P. Wehrly et al, Note, December 18, 1884, Box 247, Record No. 4361


I was intrigued by the number of suits filed by Citizens Bank of Portland against so many people during this time period, until I remembered that our country had gone through a series of financial panics.  Perhaps my ancestors were caught up in the one of 1884.


Searching in the General Index to Civil Papers, Jay County Circuit Court Book 2, which covered the time period from the late 1890s through 1930s, I had much more success.


Lemasters, Luman W et al, Joseph W. Polley et al, Injunction, December 12, 1896, Box 339, Record No. 9601


Lemasters, Luman W, Francis M. McLaughlin, Account, February 2, 1901, Box 365, Record No. 11055


LeMaster, Arthur, McKinley Polling, Judgment, July 20, 1925, Box 614, Record No. 772


LeMasters, Floyd et ux, Exparte, Adoption, October 8, 1928, Box 614, Record No. 20263


Lemasters, Arthur, Bert Ropp, Transcript, June 30, 1933, Box 724, Record No. 865


LeMaster, Luman C., James F. Eley, Replevin, June 7, 1930, Box 724, Record No. 20867


LeMasters, Opal C, George Freemyer estate, Claim, April 13, 1933, Box 724, Record No. 21996


LeMaster, Floyd, Freemont Barber, Note, July 15, 1933, Box 728, Record No. 22098


LeMaster, John et al, Ord LeMaster et al, Partition, February 15, 1933, Box 737, Record No. 21928


LeMaster, Floyd, Freemont Barber, Contribution, July 15, 1933, Box 737, Record No. 22097


LeMaster, Mary Marie, Exparte, Riley Hosp., June 12, 1933, Box 746, Record No. 22059


LeMaster, Arthur R, Beulah S. Rockwell et al, Partition, February 27, 1933, Box 760, Record No. 21943


Metzner, John A et al, James Orcutt et al, To Show Suretyship, March 25, 1893, Box 306, Record No. 7841


Metzner, Wm F et al, Board of Commissioners, On Road, April 7, 1894, Box 315, Record No. 8367


Metzner, Wesley et al, Thomas Fields, Ejectment, October 6, 1898, Box 349, Record No. 10545


Metzner, Wesley F, William F Metzner, Affect Title, April 28, 1899, Box 355, Record No. 10545


Metzner, Ervin, Harvey A Meyers et al, Claim, November 21, 1907, Box 416, Record No. 13158


Metzner, Wesley T, Ara Smith, Poss. of Real Estate, December 30, 1909, Box 432, Record No. 13814


Metzner, Wesley F, Exparte, Drainage, April 5, 1911, Box 451, Record No. 14193


Metzner, Wesley T, Homer Teeters, Allotment for Clean Out, November 5, 1917, Box 499, Record No. 14193


Metzner, Wm. F et al, Exparte, Drainage, September 24, 1920, Box 589, Record No. 17179


Metzner, Irvin G, Mary E. Chapman et al, Claim, February 16, 1926, Box 624, Record No. 19404


Metnzer, Irvin G, Mary E. Chapman et al, Claim, February 16, 1926, Box 624, Record No. 19401


Metzner, Irvin G, Sally Barlow estate, Claim, May 20, 1927, Box 674, Record No. 19771


Metzner, Irvin G, B.F. Benge estate, Claim, July 26, 1927, Box 674, Record No. 19812


Metzner, Irvin, Gause estate, Claim, November 24, 1928, Box 687, Record No. 20303


Metzner, Irvin, Grover C. Wheeler estate, Claim, December 18, 1928, Box 687, Record No. 20325


Metzner, Irvin, Estate of Abraham DeHoff, Claim, February 5, 1930, Box 687, Record No. 20745


Metzner, Irvin G, Mary D. Heistand estate, Claim, October 30, 1930, Box 693, Record No. 21015


Metzner, Irvin G, Ernest Wolford, Judgment, June 11, 1931, Box 696, Record No. 830


Metzner, Irvin G, Anderson Pence estate, Claim, November 9, 1931, Box 715, Record No. 21471


Metzner, Irvin G, Jacob Miller estate, Claim, October 28, 1932, Box 715, Record No. 21842


Metzner, Irvin G, Elizabeth Montgomery estate, Claim, September 1, 1932, Box 728, Record No. 21763


Metzner, Irvin, Russell Luttman, Note, December 20, 1933, Box 733, Record No. 22267


Metzner, Irvin G, Barbary E. Hart estate, Claim, May 2, 1933, Box 737, Record No. 22019


Metzner, Irvin G, Addie DeHoff estate, Claim, September 21, 1933, Box 737, Record No. 22176


Metzner, Irvin G, Sarah J. Albertson estate, Claim, November 18, 1930, Box 743, Record No. 21027


Metzner, Irvin G, W.H. Leonard, Note, August 13, 1934, Box 745, Record No. 22490


Metzner, Irvin G, Caroline V. Houser estate, Claim, October 30, 1934, Box 745, Record No. 22567


Metzner, Wesley T, Benjamin Arnold et al, G.T., June 25, 1934, Box 762, Record No. 22454


Metzner, Irvin G, Emily White estate, Claim, December 30, 1935, Box 771, Record No. 23027


Metzner, Irvin G, Mary E. Benge estate, Claim, February 1, 1936, Box 772, Record No. 23059


Metzner, Irvin G, Mary E. Benge estate, Claim, March 20, 1936, Box 772, Record No. 23106


Metzner, Irvin G, Chalmer B. Gross, Note, March 7, 1942, Box 882, Record No. 25549


Haley, Cynthia et al, Samuel S. Straube et al, Injunction, April 25, 1893, Box 311, Record No. 7855


Haley, William et al, Exparte, Adoption, December 30, 1893, Box 311, Record No. 8180


Haley, Samuel, Cynthia A. Haley, Divorce, May 9, 1894, Box 316, Record No. 8396


Haley, Samuel, Jerome Doty, Account, May 21, 1895, Box 324, Record No. 8874


Haley, Mary C, Harvey Haley, Divorce, February 18, 1896, Box 331, Record No. 9205


Haley, Samuel, James G. Van Rerah, Seduction & damages, October 6, 1898, Box 348, Record No. 10339


Haley, Samuel, Carrie Haley, Divorce, November 15, 1898, Box 352, Record No. 10378


Haley, Clara, Andrew Haley, Divorce, March 15, 1900, Box 362, Record No. 10790


Haley, Samuel, Anna Figle, Transcript, September 21, 1912, Box 445, Record No. 583


Haley, Frederick, Anna A. Haley, Divorce, January 2, 1917, Box 488, Record No. 16018


Haley, Lester L, Clyde B. Money, Note, November 17, 1925, Box 634, Record No. 19314


Haley, Harvey, Reafy Haley, Divorce, May 27, 1927, Box 668, Record No. 19777


Chew, C.A.W. et al, Fred Wagner et al, Note, March 8, 1901, Box 367, Record No. 11034


Chew, W.A., Susan Money estate, claim, November 21, 1907, Box 415, Record No. 13166


Chew, Charles A.W. et al, S.B. Fifer, Trustees, Appeal from assessment, September 11, 1916, Box 523, Record No. 15899


Chew, Hazel May, Exparte, Insanity, July 17, 1940, Box 857, Record No. 24650


Wehrly, Lisle E., Assignment, Assignment, November 11, 1926, Box 645, Record No. 19620


Wehrly, Nettie, Amanda Whipple et al, Partition, November 13, 1934, Box 773, Record No. 22575


Wehrly, Blaine, Exparte, Assignment, October 24, 1923, Box 799, Record No. 18514


Again, these were only indexed from the plaintiff side.  However, I did find one ancestors name in the defendant side again while doing a cursory glance:


Weiler, Abe et al, John A. Metzner, Notes, May 21, 1894, Box 314, Record No. 8428


Searching in the General Index to Civil Papers, Jay County Circuit Court Book 3, which covered the time period from the late 1930s through 1950s, I focused only on the LeMaster and Haley surnames.


LeMasters, Opal, Flora M. Snyder estate, Claim, September 10, 1935, Box 766, Record No. 22918


LeMaster, Clarence, Herman Fuelling estate, Claim, September 10, 1938, Box 833, Record No. 23969


LeMasters, John L Auditor Jay Co., Rachel Crane et al, Foreclosure Mortgage, September 30, 1941, Box 879, Record No. 25144


LeMaster, Floyd Deo, Thelma LeMaster, Divorce, July 31, 1942, Box 892, Record No. 25831


LeMaster, Ord Wehrly, Exparte, Establish Birth, January 29, 1942, Box 910, Record No. 25393


LeMaster, Arthur R., Edith Meinholtz et al, Partition Real estate, June 12, 1942, Box 910, Record No. 25755


LeMaster, Floyd, Exparte, Establish Birth, July 6, 1943, Box 910, Record No. 26258


LeMaster, John, Exparte, Establish Birth, December 23, 1944, Box 910, Record No. 26825


LeMasters, Pearl L., Mary E. Smith, Appt. of Gdn, October 25, 1952, Box 1024, Record No. 29669


LeMaster, Pearl L, Samuel E. Smith estate, Claim, April 20, 1953, Box 1032, Record No. 29803


LeMaster, James, Harold Premer, Damages, September 22, 1951, Box 1036, Record No. 29303


LeMaster, Dorothy L, William DeLauter estate, Claim, November 17, 1959, Box 1155, Record No. 31841 [MF notation]


LeMaster, Mary Louise et al, Eva M. Dalrymple, Apt. Gdn., June 7, 1965, Box 1236, Record No. 33423 [MF notation]


LeMaster, Grace, Dale W. LeMaster, Divorce, November 4, 1965, Box 1249, Record No. 33538 [MF notation]


LeMaster, Donald, Luella M. LeMaster, Divorce, September 20, 1967, Box 1288, Record No. 34134 [MF notation]


LeMaster, infant, Dept. Co. Welfare, Child Ward of Court, February 16, 1968, Box 1292, Record No. 34266 [MF notation]


LeMaster, Francis D., Bonnie L. LeMaster, Divorce, July 13, 1966, Box 1293, Record No. 33735 [MF notation]


LeMaster, Mary J., Donald LeMaster, Divorce, February 2, 1968, Box 1293, Record No. 34267 [MF notation]


LeMaster, Mary, Donald LeMaster, Divorce, March 6, 1968, Box 1297, Record No. 34284 [MF notation]


LeMaster, Donald, Mary LeMaster, Divorce, December 2, 1968, Box 1304, Record No. 34559 [MF notation]


LeMaster, Mary, Donald LeMaster, Divorce, June 4, 1968, Box 1304, Record No. 34350 [MF notation]


LeMaster, Larry D., Oscar H. Wiebush, Negligent Operation Motor Vehicle, January 16, 1973, Box 1375, Record No. 36098 [MF notation]


LeMaster, John L, Arthur LeMaster estate, Claim, July 10, 1972, Box 1390, Record No. 35918 [MF notation]


Haley, Phillip C, Lula Haley, Divorce, December 1, 1948, Box 990, Record No. 38347


Haley, Fred, Exparte, Insanity, February 2, 1945, Box I-1, Record No. 26878


Haley, Mildred A., Phillip F Haley, Divorce, September 17, 1958, Box 1136, Record No. 31479 [MF notation]


Haley, Mildred A., Phillip F. Haley, Divorce, January 5, 1956, Box 1139, Record No. 30750 [MF notation]


Haley, Angela Michelle, Wm. Darwin McAbee, Petition for Adoption, May 18, 1967, Box 1320, Record No. 34005 [MF notation]


I did not confirm, but I do believe that the MF notation on this indices means that these records have been micro-filmed.


The clerks were very helpful in obtaining copies of a few of these records.  At $1.00 per page, I would very quickly have been over budget.  When I get my Flip-Pal scanner, I will definitely be heading back.


I spent a good couple of hours going through the civil records, and since it was close to lunch time, I headed out without doing research on the criminal records.  Those will have to wait for another day.


After lunch, I spent a few hours at the Jay County Public Library, where I searched funeral home records, city directories and tried to obtain a couple of obituaries.  Unfortunately, the printer on the microfilm reader was not working, and I was unable to print out the two obituaries I discovered.  Of course, this was discovered after I had deposited $0.30 in the machine for the two copies. The librarian did take my name and address and promised to send me copies as soon as they fix the machine.  


I also made a quick stop at the Jay County Historical Society just before it closed, where I was able to make copies of a couple of school records from the early 1900s.  I will post that information in a later post.


Overall, it was one of the most productive on-site research days I've had, and a good way to spend my birthday to boot.
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